Gotong Royong” is an Indonesian phrase that means community working together for mutual benefit. With EBPP’s help and Ayana Resort’s Yayasan Mitra Pelita Bangsa Foundation’s sponsorship, Belong Hamlet in Ban Village has done just that!
Belong is one of the largest and most rural communities in Ban Village, with 306 families sparsely scattered over a very large area. Although EBPP provided safe water reservoirs from the Daya River spring source in 2003, due to their geographical situation most families still had to trek 2-3hrs daily simply to access clean water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and cleaning. Belong is now equipped with 70 more “cubangs”, roof rainwater collection reservoirs with 33,000 litres storage capacity to provide 70 more families with the accessible, clean water they need adjacent their homes.
Cubangs are completely covered roof rainwater collection reservoirs, where the rainwater passes through gravel, charcoal and jute filters, and the hand-pumps – which work on the same principle as a bicycle pump, provide a clean and safe household water supply to isolated communities to sustainably improve their health, especially for young children.
Based on WHO guidelines, each family of 4-5 people needs a minimum 120 litres of water per day, so these cubangs supply families with sufficient water for the usual long dry season of 7-8 months. Since 2015, Ayana Resort’s Yayasan Mitra Pelita Bangsa foundation has helped the impoverished communities of Belong Hamlet by sponsoring the construction of 70 cubangs, the last 20 being completed in mid-July 2016.
Once funding was in place, EBPP promptly put building plans in place to get the project started. EBPP’s local water and sanitation team coordinated Belong families for daily “Gotong Royong” to build their cubangs. The total construction period for each new cubang was 8-10 days. EBPP team spent the first two days training the local community, who worked together in groups of 4-6, and then made a short site visit daily, with total time spent averaging 3-4 days per cubang. We helped them help themselves to work together as a community and build a better and more sustainable life.
With the efficiency, hard work, and dedication of Ban Village community members and the EBPP team, all 70 cubangs have now been finished! Families are now able to spend less time getting water and more time feeding their cattle, getting an education, and caring for each other – resulting in healthier babies and more productive lives.